Amy Scheel works with us in Gulu, Uganda and when she came across a little boy named Opio, her heart broke for his broken heart. She made it her personal project to help his family raise the funds needed for his surgery and post-operative care.
Here is Opio’s story…
“Opio Ambrose is an 8 year-old boy from Gulu, Uganda suffering from constrictive pericarditis. Idiopathic in origin, this disease has caused the pericardium around his heart to become fibrous leaving it no room to expand as it fills with blood. This rare condition causes a backup of blood behind the heart and in Opio’s case, accumulation of excess fluid in different parts of his body. Opio needs a pericardiectomy, a procedure that will strip away the fibrous pericardium, to save his life. After suffering for more than 2 and half years- he says he’s more than ready.
In Bobi, a subcounty of Gulu, Opio’s father works as a peasant farmer earning roughly $15 a month. His wife left him shortly after learning about Opio’s condition, leaving him to raise Opio and his 4 brothers alone. Although his family has been saving for over a year, they have only been able to raise 1/9 of the 4 Million Ugandan Shillings ($1300) required for his surgery. Due to the nature of his condition, Opio visits the hospital frequently, which hinders his family’s ability to save for his surgery. Because of the fluid accumulation in his abdomen he cannot take the public bus due to overcrowding and is forced to take a motorcycle taxi, costing $3 dollars each way. As you can see, the fact that his family has been able to save this much money is truly remarkable.
When diagnosed 2 years ago Opio was forced to drop out of school due to the shortness of breath he experienced on the walk to class. He spends his days at home drawing and dreaming about the day when he can play soccer with his friends and go back to school to learn. He sits down with his sibling’s lesson books when they get home from school so that he will not fall behind. He is truly a remarkable boy and deserves a chance to fulfill his dream of becoming a teacher. He has an incredible family and will no doubt have the support that he needs during and after surgery.”
– Written by Amy Scheel
How You Can Help
Click on the link below to read more about Project AMBROSE.
- Project AMBROSE – Updates (Opio’s surgery has been pushed back to August 28th)
And contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for how you can donate to Opio and his family! Be sure to keep checking back for updates on Opio’s status here, on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.